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Poster: BryanE Date: Dec 8, 2006 7:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Parental Head's Dilemma

I don't envy you, and how I dread the years that I will soon be facing as a dad. My daughter turns 10 next weekend. I've tried to be as pre-emptive as I possibly can, saying to her for years now that as she gets older, her friends will try to coax her into getting high or drunk, but that she can live her entire life without ever letting those hindrances rear their ugly heads. I have tried to be candid about it, as well, trying to maintain an image in her mind that Daddy is a good, productive man even though he made some bad decisions when he was younger that resulted in a lot of dissapointment and squandered ambition. I stress that she can go as far as she wants to go in life, and I hope that will be a long, long way, but that all of that other stuff will only serve to block her from getting there. Back in the day, I thought Nancy Reagan's "just say no" campaign was ridiculous. Now that I've spent a decade trying to exert some positive influence on the child, though, I recognize the merits of putting the idea of abstinenence into your kids' heads at an early age in terms that are simple enough for them to grasp. Plus, we live across the street from the local United Church of Christ where our little girl has been a Sunday morning fixture since pre-school, and I feel that has been a help.

As far as the focus of this forum is concerned with the topic at hand, she has grown up well aware that Dad is a Dead Head. She knows what a big deal Jerry Garcia was, and still is, in my life, and I've told her how badly he messed himself up with drugs and what a sad situation it was.

It is a cliche', but my oh my, they do grow up quickly. When she was little, she viewed it as an absolute necessity every night for her to send me off to work at the rock-n-roll station by telling me that I had to "play 'Smoove' (her pronunciation of that Santana mega-hit from the Supernatural album), and Shakedown Street, and the song about the band (Uncle John's Band, which I use to play for her on guitar-that "goddamn" line in the song was tricky), and the monkey song (Monkey & The Engineer-another song in my repertoire-great song for kids)." The list was later amended to include "the bone song," which was Thorogood's Bad To The Bone. I never understood what she saw in that one, but it was her ritual that she conducted every evening for close to three years before she finally grew out of it. Those were the days, though.

Innocence fades, but we do every damned thing we can as parents to prolong it. I wish I could tell you the absolute answer to your dilemma, but I don't know what it is. There probably isn't one, because every kid and every family is different, but by all means, I wish you all the best in trying to figure out what it is for you. And remember if nothing else that, as the song says, love will see you through.

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Dec 8, 2006 10:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Parental Head's Dilemma

Very well said, sir. I remember back in the crazy days getting all philosophical and shit, wondering why am I here? What will I leave behind when I'm gone? Now, as a father, the answer is crystal clear. A big reason why I am here is to make sure that my chilldren are raised in such a way that they become contributing members of society, maybe not Jonas Saulk's or Ghandi's, but folks who pull their own weight and help out others from time to time. I think I pulled that one off with my son. As for what I leave behind, if my kids think of me just half as much as I think of my father and with just a fraction of the same respect, I will leave this earth happy.
Damn, who says we only talk about fat musicians?

This post was modified by SomeDarkHollow on 2006-12-08 18:37:49

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Poster: high flow Date: Dec 8, 2006 10:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Parental Head's Dilemma

Somebody call Oprah's daddy and tell him to get Oprah off the pipe!! We need a pick.

SDH - Fear the meth. It is THE most evil substance on earth!

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Dec 8, 2006 10:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Parental Head's Dilemma

Did you hear about the lastet "improved" meth? Apparently they have found a way to concentrate the meth with caffeine into a pill form, and just to be extra fun, they have flavored the pills like a Flintstones Chewable vitamin. Nice. Kill them all. Oh, sorry, didn't mean to get all Reagan on you; I see myself in general as a Liberal Democrat, but when it comes to that shit and kids, I become very Republican.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Dec 8, 2006 11:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Parental Head's Dilemma

now aint that just good news - hadn't heard that - what a bunch of assholes!!! unreal

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Poster: SactownTom Date: Dec 8, 2006 11:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Parental Head's Dilemma

This has been a great thread. I first read it around 6:45 PST, before there had been any responses, and I've been giving it a tremendous amount of thought. I think many others have very eloquently expressed a lot of what I was thinking about this issue. I have a son who turned 15 last month and is a freshman in high school. I've had several conversations with him about this over the last three years or so.
I'm one of those who came of age in the 70's--I started smoking herb and drinking at 13-14. Did lots of psychedelics up to about 86. Did lots of coke in the 80's (worst drug ever for me--never did meth, tho). I was a chronic pot smoker for more than 25 years--you know, wake and bake, all day every day--4:20 24/7. I know that I had a ton of fun along the way, but I also know I squandered many opportunities and much potential along the way as well (7+ years of college-no degree!).
My son's mother (my ex since he was 2), has had substance abuse issues of her own (her drug of choice was the coke). Since seperating from her, I only smoked herb and drank beer and the occcasional JD (rarely drinking to excess). I still smoked all day, every day. In spite of that, I was able to put together a pretty good life for my self--got a good job, met and married a great woman, had another son with her.
At the risk of boring you all to death, I'll quit with the background. 2 1/2 years ago, I sought treatment for my issues with the herb. My wife was tired of me being baked all the time, and I didn't like the way I felt as I sat in my garage by myself getting high. I was on the verge of fucking up my good life. So ,I've been doing the recovery deal since June '04. My life is better than ever, and I do not regret the decision to get help.
To bring it around to the topic at hand, I have had very open and honest discussions with my son about the choices I made, and the consequences of those choices. I have tried to make him aware of his predisposition for addiction, and have used my history as lesson for him. I didn't get into it here, but I screwed my life up pretty good--in large part due to my use of mind altering chemicals. I am NOT a zealot, and do not begrudge anyone on this forum or anywhere else the pleasure of a good scotch or some dank buds. I just couldn't enjoy like that--I needed to be high all the time (not so good).
I'm not sure this is contributing to this thread at all. I don't know why I laid this out here, but I guess I needed to. I think most people can enjoy getting a buzz now and then, and not let it get in the way of their life. Others have a little more difficulty with it. I do agree that our kids need some maturity, need to have progressed on their path a ways, before they can make an informed decision on drinking and smoking and the like. I see nothing wrong with smoking herb, or drinking, or even (especially) psychedelics when one is ready for that. I just don't think my 15 year old is ready to make that call yet. We're all different, and someone like Max seems to have his head on pretty damn straight (for a deadhead!). I would never doubt that he knows himself and what he is ready for at this time in his life.
Good luck SDH. You seem to be a thoughtful and loving parent. The guess from here is your kids have and will make the right decisions in their lives, in no small part because of their dad. Keep us posted. I'm going to be going through this for the next 3 years or so--it can only be easier if I keep a clear head.
Thanks to this forum. I feel blessed to have found this place and some kindred spirits. (no pun intended)

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Dec 8, 2006 12:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Parental Head's Dilemma

Very well said friend. Sounds like your son has got a good father. Best of luck with him, but it sounds like you've got your house in order and I'm sure things will work out. Very refreshing to hear folks admit to getting help when they really need it, I find its probably the most mature thing a person can do, takes a lot of guts to recognize one's own faults and that they can't be remedied w/out some outside help. Congratulations, my friend.

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Poster: daliguana Date: Dec 8, 2006 10:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Parental Head's Dilemma

We have a soon-to-be three-year-old daughter. I don't hide the fact that I drink coffee or smoke weed. I smoke so rarely anymore that its not a big issue. Like, maybe on holidays out on the porch, and at festivals. But, like coffee, alcohol and the like, its not appropriate behaviour for a youngster. I didn't smoke/take any drugs until I was 17 and out of the house. It was always made very clear that drugs were NOT ALLOWED in my family, and so when I started to dabble and eventually ended up on the harder stuff, I completely disassociated with my family. I remember getting the call about my grandmother's death at a bar. For about 6 years made/recieved about 1 call a year from the folks. When I reached out in '96 and told my parents that I was on the edge of the world and didn't know if I was going to fall, they drove the 90 miles in a blizzard that took five hours. They were shocked and appaled when I told them I'd been using speed for the previous three years. But, they took me in and helped my be well again. I guess what I'm trying to say (and I think, considering most of our pasts, may be irrelevent) that accepting your child's experimentation and being able to keep lines of communication open is of greatest importance. I'm not due for that situation for at least a decade, but I appreciate everyone's honesty and support for a fellow. Personally, I have many negative experiences to relay to my daughter when/if she ever starts experimenting. I've been fired for smoking on the job at least once - not because it affected my performance, just because you can't get caught and suffer no consequenses (even in the food industry). As a student in the medical field, I know that drug testing is rampant. Like I said, smoking pot has kind of lost its luster, so I don't indulge much anymore. And will easily pass any drug screen. Best of luck with that one (and all of us who will be experiencing it in the future). I want to foster a relationship with my daughter that she can be open and honest with me about all things and that she will know that I will offer her advise and comfort always. But, I'd steer her clear of smoking/drinking until at least 18 due to the fact that the brain is still developing at that stage. I drank pretty heavily in HS and I believe that it didn't allow me the opportunity to learn how to deal with emotions well. But, my parents made an ultimatum out of that, and I left home at 17. My overall feelings at that time were "they're not going to accept me as who I am, so I'll just keep them out". And I did for about a decade. Now, at age 36 we're on great terms. I don't know what would have come of my using if I'd had a 'safe place' to come to my parents and be open and honest with them. But, with five younger siblings, they did not want bad influences around. When I came home broken and bleeding in '96, I think I made an impression on my youngest siblings who were still in HS at the time. They were able to see first hand what drugs like cocaine and meth can do to you. At least I'd like to think that influenced their choices then and now (my youngest brother is 20). Enough from me...

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